Increased Internet usage key to Morocco’s economic future

THE Moroccan government is prioritising initiatives to increase Internet use in the country with a view to at least doubling the current usage which is at around 25% percent of the country on a daily basis, a ministry of information and communications official told our reporter on Wednesday

Ibrahim bin Yehia said that investing in this sector is a “vital goal” for government and hopes the North African country can double Internet usage in the next five years. He said Morocco sees Internet penetration as “an important step towards moving the country forward into the global economy”.

“It largely depends on where we can get investors to put their money,” bin Yehia said. “The Internet is key to attracting foreign companies and as we continue to build our infrastructure, I am sure that we will be able to enter the global economy on a more equal footing,” he said.

The Internet has been a major draw card for other North African nations, especially Egypt, where the increase in DSL infrastructure has made it more attractive to foreign corporations.

Ahmed Abdallah, an employee at Microsoft’s call center in Cairo, said that Morocco has the unique ability of attracting European companies if Internet usage increases.

“We see that in Cairo the increase in users has meant an increase in foreign investment in the country, so it makes sense that Morocco is trying to follow a similar path,” he told ITNewsAfrica.

Analysts argue that Africa must improve its Internet infrastructure fast if the continent is to compete on a global stage.

For bin Yehia, the increase in technology infrastructure “will go a long way to increasing both citizen use and company investment in Morocco, so it is a win-win situation that will see a lot of positives in the coming years”.

DESMOND SHEPHERD in Casablanca, Morocco